The University of Tennessee, Knoxville


Melissa Holcombe


Daniel Jack Button

Capstone Title

Palliative Care Didactic and Simulation Education Program Evaluation


2014-2016 DSW, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
1998 MSW, University of Arkansas, Little Rock
  MS, Experiential Education
1978 BS, Psychology, Kansas State University


Dan is a clinician who began work as a mental health tech in 1976 and immediately realized caring for others would be his life’s work. He graduated from Kansas State University in 1978 with a BS in Psychology. Dan was a non-traditional student as evidenced by his entry into a University without walls program where he earned his MS in Experiential Education. Early in his career he worked in psychiatric inpatient settings with children and families. He opened an emergency shelter in Kansas, a reactive attachment unit in Montana, a child and adolescent psychiatric unit in Wyoming, and a sexual offender program in Arkansas. During the process of deinstitutionalizing mental health care, Dan returned to school and earned his MSW at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock in 1998.

As you can see by his many moves, he has a bit of wanderlust. Following his move to Florida, he reluctantly entered the Hospice and Palliative Care world, but that turned out to be a fortuitous event. He has continued work as a clinician, administrator, and trainer and has been afforded the opportunity to open a number of hospice care centers. Dan’s pursuit of his DSW was in part triggered by a need to update his clinical knowledge as his career has spanned 40 years. Earning his Doctorate has been on his bucket list for many years, and his long-term goal is to teach, thus allowing him to continue in his pursuit of knowledge.


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